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Managing our time - 70 nuts to crack - 2hrs to do it

 
Daniel Clinton
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Hi JavaRanch!

I'm posting as I'm a bit concerned about managing to finish all the questions!!

To prepare I've:
- Studied Mala Gupta's guide in detail
- Also Kathy & Bert's SCJP guide first 5 chapters
- Written lots of code, little programs

Now I'm starting with the Enthuware mock exams
to hopefully strengthen up my weaker spots.
And to get up to speed.
My biggest apprehension is just that.
Speed.

If the exam was even 30 mins longer,
I think I'd feel a good deal less worried!

The most helpful advice I've found regarding using exam time well
was in the preface to K&B SCJP - Test-Taking Techniques (page xxxiv)
Unfortunately I don't know how applicable it is for a 2hr test**

Anyone know of up-to-date time-plan help/advice for this exam?


Danny
A slightly worried OCA aspirant


** Kathy and Bert suggest subjecting the exam questions to several passes,
the first pass taking no more than 25% of the exam time
But I think that exam was a 3hr+ one with 72 questions
How well might this work in the 2 hr setting?
30 mins max to race thru 70 tricky teasers
answering the easier ones on the first pass?
Think that might not be as effective here.
What time-plan would work?
I'm guessing their new book might cover Test-Taking Techniques too
Love to have an early peek at that now!!
 
Tiberius Marius
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Same boat as you , i started learning Java as introduction in programming almost 4 months ago (using The art and science of Java & Intro into Java programming 10th edition) . I finished all chapters related to the topics of OCAJP7 and did about 500 exercises(but most of them about lesser chapters then the ones on the exam ) . Less then a month ago i started learning for the certification and i even looked at some mock questions etc( i was not impressed by their difficulty - i mean i was confident that with more study passing the exam would not be in question) But now that they allegedly made the questions harder and more importantly there is much more code to read trough i m really worried , mostly that i lack the sheer experience to go trough code fast , i don't have any dev ex and i ve seen people with 3+ years xp as Java developers complaining that they did not have time to finish ... The new changes are new and not really confirmed ( i mean except people saying there much harder) but i hope at list the enthuware mock exams get updated to reflect the harder exam if the changes are confirmed .
 
Paul Anilprem
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Tiberious,
I posted the following response in a thread on our forum.
Posting it here as well:

Hey Paul ,

I started learning Java / programming not very many months ago but i put allot of hours in it . To be honest those supposed changes scare me allot , not the increase in difficulty as much as the fact you need to read allot of code per question and answer it very fast . I did allot of exercises but being a beginner it's a serious challenge for me to learn to read trough code like someone with maybe a few years of Java experience . If those changes are confirmed ( i suppose by other users) how fast can we see the mock exams for 1Z0-803 updated to reflect the new exam style and difficulty ?

thanks


I am not sure there is a cause to panic right now. We conduct classroom training and our trainer and candidates who have taken the new test haven't reported any such drastic change in the questions.
We will wait for some more feedback before making changes to the questions. Overall, it will take about 3-4 weeks if required.
-Paul.
 
Satya D Prasad
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I give you a tip. Simple. Follow these steps.

1. Arrange a suitable and comfortable place for the mock exams you are giving. A serene place with some air flow and no disturbance.
2. Make sure you start the exam and do not get up until you finish it. Even for using rest rooms or having water or tea or any such activities. Have reasonable amount of water before you start exam.
3. Relax your brain. Don't let the thoughts of any concepts or questions or score percentage or friends or lovers enter your brain. Keep your mind cool. May be you can listen to your music. Pray your god for once if okay.
4. Start the exam. Start understanding the questions once or twice before you answer. I'm sure on an average you won't spend more than 100 seconds for a question
5. If the questions that come first look harder then mark them for review and proceed to the next one. Your next questions may be easier ones and you get some confidence after you answer them.
6. Keep proceeding this way until you finish all the questions. Mark the tougher ones. Answer the easy ones. But make sure you won't mark everything
7. Once you reach the last question, in the 2nd trip, start answering the ones you marked for review. This time you will get better idea of answers/concepts which you didn't get in the first round. Answre the ones which you get and remove their mark if comfortable.
8. Proceed this way till end. You will still have lot of time. I am assuming you are not spending more than an average of 120 seconds on answering the reviewed questions.
9. Final round: You must have removed more than half of the marks which you have kept initially. Try rolling over the marked ones again and answer them.

One note: There is nothing wrong in making mistakes. We do mistakes in both the concepts we know and do not know about. After evaluating the test, we will assess our strengths and weaknesses. We will come to know that we have made mistakes in both the concepts we are strong in and weaker in. No worries. We are here to learn. Just tell yourself that you will learn if you make a mistake.

And put an effort after the test to improve your weaker areas. And try not to make the same mistake twice. I mean mistakes in the concepts we are stronger in.
 
Guillermo Ishi
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I think Satya's advice here is very good. I would suggest not marking the ones you don't answer but just leaving them blank. Mark questions that might be answered in a following question, so that you can find it easily again. For example if you wonder if something will cause a runtime or compiler error, you may see it again in a following question where compiler error is not one of the options. You can then go back to the marked question and answer it. Note that if you are unsure about a radio button type answer and you select anything you will not be able to clear all answers for the question so you should mark it.

The real test interface is like the Enthuware To do your second pass you can hit review and then hit the first unanswered question and from there on just hit next, as you were doing before.
 
Daniel Clinton
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Thank you very much Satya and Guillermo
Your advice is really helpful.

Do you think it's worth getting the Whizlabs question bank?
(To add to the Enthuware set I already have)

My thoughts:
A bit pricey but might do my apprehensions the world of good.
As well as the post-test learning from checking thru explanations you can get from each mock
I'm thinking it might be good to get as much in-the-saddle experience as possible

To be battle-ready before the headlong gallop thru the OCA minefield



EDIT - Thru one of your posts guys I've just found this thread:
Enough time to answer all questions
http://www.coderanch.com/t/634486/ocajp/certification/time-answer-questions

Great advice in there from Roel De Nijs, Jelle Klap and Jeanne Boyarsky



(Apologies to moderator if this is a bit of a duplicate
I did do a search for existing topics
but I didn't discover Abdelhadi Oulgour's post til just now)
 
Roel De Nijs
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You should ALWAYS use a time limit for each question e.g. 1min). If you can't solve it within that period, just mark it for review and continue. This way you are 100% sure you'll have a chance to view and answer ALL the questions. Because maybe in your exam all the easy ones (or questions on your strengths) are all at the end of the exam. If you take too much time on some complex questions in the beginning you might not be able to answer these easy questions (which you would have answered in 5 seconds if you have had the chance).

When you mark a question for review because you are unsure about the answer(s), you could/should always eliminate the ones you definitely know are wrong (and maybe make a note of them) and from the other options you select the required number of answers needed for that question. If you don't have enough time to review all the questions you still have a (slight) chance to have a correct answer and score a point. No negative marking (no point deduction for wrong answer) at this moment, so you can guess for free
 
Roel De Nijs
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Daniel Clinton wrote:Do you think it's worth getting the Whizlabs question bank?

From the experiences on this forum I can say the Enthuware mocks are preferred above the WhizLabs ones. So more money doesn't always result in more quality. But if you want more practice questions, it's another option you have. Your choice!

Daniel Clinton wrote:Great advice in there from Roel De Nijs, Jelle Klap and Jeanne Boyarsky

And here is Roel De Nijs again

Daniel Clinton wrote:(Apologies to moderator if this is a bit of a duplicate
I did do a search for existing topics
but I didn't discover Abdelhadi Oulgour's post til just now)

No worries! This forum has numerous topics asking for tips, advice,... about passing this certification. And it has a little bit increased since the format chance to 70 questions E.g. Here is another one.

Just 1 little remark: please don't use abbreviations like "apols". Not everyone in here is an English native speaker (I'm one of them), so sometimes it's hard to figure them out for us. I fixed that one for you.
 
Daniel Clinton
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Wow!! JavaRanch is a helpful environment!
Your guidance is greatly appreciated Roel
And also Satya and Guillermo
I feel encouraged by the responses here
and all within 24hrs
Thank you everyone
Danny
 
Roel De Nijs
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Daniel Clinton wrote:Wow!! JavaRanch is a helpful environment!

We always try to do our best effort

Daniel Clinton wrote:Your guidance is greatly appreciated Roel

A little more guidance: don't forget to +1 replies/questions/posts you like. It's mostly faster than typing a thank you reply (although that's also highly appreciated), but other ranchers will immediately spot the good/excellent replies.
 
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